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Bonavista

Coastline in The Dungeon Provincial Park In Bonavista
Hiking The Coastline In The Dungeon Provincial Park in Bonavista
Hiking Over The Sea Cave In The Dungeon Provincial Park In Bonavista
Bonavista Lighthouse

When Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto (or John Cabot as he is locally known) first discovered North America in 1497, his first words were “O buono vista!”. When translated into English, this phrase means, “Oh happy sight!”, which is certainly fitting for what would become the town of Bonavista, the historic site of Cabot's landing.

Rocky shores, pebbled beaches and picturesque fishing boats line small formations of houses, new and old. Whales, seabirds, and icebergs are usual guests along the amazing shorelines surrounded by dense trees. In “The Dungeon”, the cliffs give way into a mammoth, natural opening with two seaward-side channels.

In the harbour, step inside a full-size floating replica of Cabot's ship, The Matthew, and imagine how the explorer might have felt on his epic voyage to North America.

Catch a glimpse of 10,000-year-old icebergs from the top of the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse Provincial Historic Site, and look out over the horizon where our lightkeepers have stood watch since the 1840s. If you look close enough, you might catch a glimpse of a puffin nesting ground just behind the lighthouse. Now if that doesn’t brighten up your day, nothing will.

At the Ryan Premises National Historic Site, Bonavista Museum, and the Mockbeggar Plantation Provincial Historic Site, walk into a lesson about the salt fish trade – the cornerstone of Newfoundland and Labrador's economy for centuries.

After you've explored all of Bonavista's heritage buildings, stroll along narrow roads and quaint laneways. Friendly and approachable people say hello in distinctive accents reminiscent of our Irish and English ancestors. At Christmastime, it's not uncommon to bump into traditional “mummers”, locals dressed in outlandish disguises visiting from house to house – laughing, singing and dancing until all hours of the night.

When you visit the town of Bonavista, you might be hard-pressed to decide what impresses you most: the community's tangible history, its traditional personality, or the stunning beauty of this place. A trip to Bonavista is not only a happy sight, but a happy stay as well.

Getting Here:

Bonavista is located on the island of Newfoundland on the Discovery Trail Route 230, just 3 hours from both Gander and the Argentia ferry, and 3½ hours from the capital city of St. John's.

Location data provided by the operator. Please confirm location
before departure.

Directions

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Driving distances and calculations derived using Google Maps. Actual driving times may vary. GPS coordinates have been provided by tourism operators. Please confirm location with operator before departure.

Helpful Links

Official Town of Bonavista Website

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